Belarus hints at possible blocking rail freight from Germany to China
Belarus is planning to respond to the EU sanctions. Alexander Lukashenko, the country’s disputed chairman, has hinted at possible blocking the transit freight traffic between Germany and China.
“The use of restrictive measures as an instrument of pressure on a sovereign state is lawlessness and blackmail on an international scale,” the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, criticised the EU sanctions. To counteract the new restrictions, he convened the government meeting on Tuesday, 6 July. There were no adopted specific measures in this regard. Meanwhile, the disputed Belarusian leader gave a performance with threats directed against the EU member states, particularly Germany.
Among the theses of Alexander Lukashenko declared at the meeting, it is worth noting the announcement on possible blocking of transit freight traffic, which mostly runs by rail, from Germany to China and vice versa.
“We know who in the US, Germany and other, especially European, countries opposed the supply of parts and main components to our enterprises. We know them. We have experience. Do you remember Škoda, Nivea and so on? We told them: guys, thank you, goodbye. First, not a step to the Belarusian market. Second, not a step via Belarus either. Exactly the same should be done with the Germans. Let them supply their products to China and Russia via Finland. Or via Ukraine (there are good roads), let them go and deliver there. We must implement all the measures, so that they feel what Belarus is,” Alexander Lukashenko declared emotionally.
New Silk Road & Belarus
Belarus is one of the main transit countries on the New Silk Road. The container trains from and to China generate more than half of the container traffic on the country’s railway network. For instance, slightly more than 1 million TEU was transported in Belarus in 2020. 540,000 TEU of them were generated by the New Silk Road traffic. According to the Belarusian Railway, over 700 container trains run via the country in the China – Europe – China connection monthly. Most of these trains are headed to or departed from Germany. It is hard to believe that Belarus will block the mentioned container volumes.